Favre proves this doubter wrong

During this off-season, PackerReport.com's Steve Lawrence suggested that Brett Favre hang it up, that he had played enough football and it's time to enjoy cutting grass more often in Mississippi. Well, Favre has obviously proved that he's not ready to retire, and Lawrence is now dealing with foot odor in his mouth.

The great thing about being a writer — at least one who gives his opinions — is you never have to admit you're wrong.

Sure, if you say Brett Favre has thrown for two touchdowns and eight interceptions this season, you have to admit you're wrong and fix your mistake. But if you offer an opinion and it turns out to be dead wrong, you're generally let off the hook, because by the time you're proven in error, you've offered your thoughts on 10 other topics, and nobody remembers that you wrote something foolish a couple weeks or months back. ESPN is famous for this. The network's talking heads offer countless opinions, and many of them are so wrong that you wonder how they can be called an "expert" and stay on the payroll.

I mention this because a certain writer — one you happen to be reading at this moment, coincidentally — suggested Favre retire because he simply didn't have it anymore. I was never so delusional as to suggest the Packers release or trade him, but I did hope Favre would retire to spare Ted Thompson from making a brutally difficult decision and the fans from watching some brutally awful football.

For that, let me see if I can open my mouth wide enough to insert my size 12s.

Well, I got one in my mouth, but not two. So let me write this for all the world to read: I was wrong. Very wrong.

Favre, about a week before his 38th birthday, is playing like it's a decade ago, when he was going for his fourth consecutive league MVP instead of merely going for his fourth MVP.

How on earth do you explain it?

Frankly, I haven't a clue, though I'm guessing Mike McCarthy's coaching — his attention to detail and his willingness to confront Favre is simply something Mike Sherman lacked — has plenty to do with it.

But what Favre has done the last three weeks simply defies explanation.

When did Favre get himself into trouble in the past? When he tried to do too much. Well, can Favre be asked to do anything more than is being thrust upon his shoulders this season?

There are a million make-your-head-shake-in-disbelief stats coming from the past few games. Here are a few I've dug up.

— Favre has thrown 170 passes through four games. As a team, the Packers have rushed for 217 yards. Not quite the balanced offense needed to take the pressure off him, is it?

— He's on pace to throw 680 passes. Only Drew Bledsoe (691 with New England in 1994) has ever thrown more.

— In his last three games, he's compiled passer ratings of 112.4, 110.3 and 108.0, the first time he's topped 100 in three consecutive games since the first three games in 1996 — when the Packers won the Super Bowl and he won his second MVP.

— Favre went 12 consecutive games spanning the 2005 and 2006 seasons without one game with a 100 rating. During the final three games of last season, all victories, Favre had ratings of 32.9, 52.5 and 70 while throwing one touchdown to six interceptions. He started this season with a 58.2 rating, with no touchdowns and one interception. When last season ended, judging by Favre's play to end last season and a lackluster training camp this past summer, it seemed almost a cinch Favre would break the career interceptions record (he was four behind George Blanda) before he broke the career touchdowns record (he was six behind Dan Marino).

Instead, he's on pace to throw a career-low eight interceptions.

How long can this last? How long can Favre continue to pick up the slack for a running game that's not just out of gear but isn't even operational? How long can Favre continue to play like a 28-year-old rather than the 38-year-old he'll be on Oct. 10?

Who knows? But what I can tell you is this: Enjoy it while it lasts. Savor every moment, every fastball, every celebration, every wide-eyed grin, every perfect pass, every piece of deft footwork, every age-defying play, because Favre is a once-in-a-lifetime player. A know-it-all like me should have figured that out long ago.

Steve Lawrence is a regular contributor to PackerReport.com. E-mail him at steve_lawrence_packers@yahoo.com.

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